Hypnotic Brass Ensemble


Repressed. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is comprised of eight brothers from the south side of Chicago who come from an extraordinary musical family. Other sisters and brothers are professional musicians, their mothers are singers, and Phil Cohran, their father, has roots running back to Mississippi, the musical hothouse of 1940s St. Louis, Sun Ra in Chicago in the 1950s, and the founding of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). At night when they went to bed, the children would hear their father rehearsing with his band the Circle Of Sound. They were wakened at 6 a.m. for several hours of music practice before going to school and were a central part of their father's Youth Ensemble. Meanwhile, they were also sneaking under the covers and listening to NWA and Public Enemy, later forming their first group, GWC (Gangsters With A Curfew), which morphed into Wolf Pak (Wolf Pak (Wolves on the look out for pigs and Klansmen)). By the end of the '90s, they brought together their musicianship, their jazz roots and their hip-hop sensibility, and made a living busking on the streets of Chicago, which honed their burgeoning skills as composers. (They wrote all of the tracks on this album except "Alyo," written by their father, and "Rabbit Hop," written by Moondog.) Eventually, the group transferred to New York City, and after playing out relentlessly, including gigs with Mos Def and Erykah Badu, and some particularly incendiary shows in Europe, they have come to be known as one of the hottest and most individual bands around. This album is the result of a chance encounter in 2005: during a cold market day on Portobello Road, strains of Ellington and the swagger of brassy funk cut through the morning fog. Stationed on the corner of Talbot Road, eight horns and a drum kit rocked Ladbroke Grove. Since their initial meeting, Honest Jon's and HBE have stayed close. In 2007, HBE contributed a monster of a track "Sankofa" to the Tony Allen remix project, Lagos Shake (HJR 034CD/LP), and have not stopped blowing minds since. In London, Lyon and New York, HBE tore it up both as leaders and in support of artists as diverse as Victoria Williams and Candi Staton, both rousing and tender in turns. Honest Jon's are proud to present the gorgeous, thrilling music of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.